Whether it’s for a class project or a client meeting, at some point in your academic or professional career, you will be expected to give a presentation.
Preparing for a presentation can be a little stressful, but with some practice and the following tips, you’ll be sure to come out on top!
Know your audience
First things first, you need to find out who your audience will be. Are you presenting to fellow students, to your bosses, or to the general public? For example, if you’re presenting to people who are unfamiliar with your material, then you should avoid any technical jargon terms, and define them first to prevent confusion.
Know how much time you have
Timing is everything with presentations. If you exceed your allotted time, you risk taking time away from the next presenter and losing your audience’s interest. However, if you run short, you might seem underprepared. To ensure you finish right on time, be sure to clarify how much time you have and whether that includes any additional activities, like a Q&A period. That way, you know how much time to allot to each part of your presentation.
Outline your presentation
Now that you’ve figured out who you are presenting to and how long you have to present, you should start outlining your presentation. Begin with a list of all your points, then narrow them down to the most important ones. Don’t try to cram everything into the presentation! Instead, focus on the main facts that you want your audience to take away.
More visuals, less text
No one likes slides full of text. They look cluttered, they’re hard to digest, and your audience will probably spend more time trying to read your slides than listening to you. If you must have text, use bullet points and keep the sentences short. Incorporate lots of visuals like pictures, graphs and diagrams into your presentation and explain them verbally rather than on the slides.
Background information is crucial
You should always provide your audience with the necessary context they need to understand your presentation, but at the same time, don’t go overboard. This section should only take a few minutes. A good place to start is with a quick definition of your topic, coupled with a short discussion on how and why you chose that particular subject area.
Preparation is key for effective presentations. With these five tips, your next presentation will be a surefire success!